To prepare: View this week’s media, Parker (Episode 30).
Think of the many names and labels you may have heard to describe persons with disabilities and those that are currently socially acceptable. The changing monikers given to those with disabilities are evidence of the continual negotiation of the society who labels and those who are so labeled to define what disability is and who is disabled. What do these shifting labels suggest about the social construction of disability?
Society is inconsistent in its treatment and protection of the rights of individuals with disabilities, creating a situation that contributes to marginalization that can complicate other forms of marginalization and oppression. Consider that being labeled with a disability can be simultaneously something to be fought against because of the stigma it entails and fought for because of the access that it grants to social services that meet basic medical needs, aid economic survival, and improve access to education that society can otherwise deny.
Post an analysis of the implications of the social construction of disability. Describe how disability can be defined as a social construct. Explain how that relates to the perception of disability. Be specific and draw on examples from the Parker case to illustrate your thoughts. Also, describe the intersection of Stephanie’s mental illness with other characteristics of her identity. Explain how those intersections could serve to further marginalize Stephanie’s place and experiences in society. Finally, explain how such marginalization impacts her ability to make choices, use self-determination, and be an active agent with equitable status in her interactions with other professionals.